Yesterday I started my day as I do every morning by logging on to Twitter. Some of my followers were taking shots at CNN News Anchor Don Lemon for co-signing with Fox News personality Bill O’ Reilly, and their criticism of the black community. I guess hearing the truth hurts.
Bill O’ Reilly: “Raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs. Nobody forces them to do that, again, it is a personal decision.”
I’m far from a Reilly fan, but he’s 100% correct in this instance. The black community has had a problem with murder and crime for years. Some blacks aren’t educating themselves and are gravitating to selling drugs, crime and having babies out of wedlock for years.
It’s time for us as a community to rise up and take responsibility for our actions. Your life is the way it is because you choose for it to be.
Instead thinking about becoming doctors, lawyers, or writers, some blacks think they’re only limited ways to make it in this world. You don’t have to play sports, sell drugs or rap to make it in this world.
The thinking of The Notorious B.I.G. lyric from the song “Gimmie The Loot” Either you’re slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot” couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many avenues that people can make that in this world and it’s time that we as a community start thinking outside the box.
A high school dropout makes on average $19,000 a year, a high school graduate makes $28,000 a year, and a college graduate makes $51,000 a year. This a huge difference of money over a lifetime. This is why education is very important and why people should value it.
Don Lemon: “If you’re sagging, I mean — I think it’s your self-esteem that is sagging and who you are as a person it’s sagging. Young people need to be taught respect and there are rules.”
The problem I have with young men sagging is, these men expect to gain employment or be taken seriously with their pants hanging to their butts. No one is going to hire you if you come into a company with your pants sagging. They will just throw your application in the trash. If you want to be taken serious, wear your pants on your waist.
Lemon: “By promoting the use of that word (nigga) when it’s not germane to the conversation, have you ever considered that you may be just perpetuating the stereotype the master intended acting like a nigger?”
CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN/ACTOR: “We took this word, and we made it into poetry. “
I had a friend of mine recently who works for the police department and he’s a supervisor. He told me that he has a lot of his employees use the word nigga on a regular basis at work. He eventually had to fire someone for using the word while on the job.
Just because Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West use the word, doesn’t mean you should. Those guys are millionaires and they are using it as poetry and art as Chris Rock alluded to. I cringe when I heard young blacks and even other races using it.
At first blacks only used the word nigga, but now Hispanics and even whites believe it is cool to use it. I have the thinking that no one should use the word. It’s confusing people of other races and it’s degrading our race.
Why use a word that still to this day is disparaging to the black community and our ancestors. As the great James Baldwin said,
“You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger” (James Baldwin).
Lemon: “Finish school. You want to break the cycle of poverty? Stop telling kids they’re acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English.”
This hits home for me because I’ve heard that I was trying be white my entire life. Reason people have said I want to be white because I’m a well-educated, I speak properly, watch NASCAR and hockey and I’m a black man that dates outside of my race.
I grew up in a middle-class home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with one mother and also with the help from my grandmother. While we were far from rich, many people thought my family and I were not like most black families. Maybe it was because I had an aunt and a mother, who were both college graduates growing up. Maybe it was because I was a college graduate as well. Whatever the reason was, I was always having to defend my blackness.
The whispers of myself not acting the way a black guy really started in high school. While all the girls would flock to my friends who would stay either in trouble and/or not really focused in school, I would always get put in the friend zone by a lot of black women. It seemed like the more trouble my friends got into, the more they were loved by black women ladies.
I even had a women who I was dating at the time tell me she thought you only dated white girls because how properly I talked. Even though a majority of the women I have dated recently are white, I’m very open to dating women of other races.
As far as waiting NASCAR and the NHL, I wasn’t aware certain sports belong to certain races. I watched every sport there as a kid as my grandmother would tell you and I continue to be a huge sports fan. I’m not going to stop watching a sport just because it is considered a white sport. I’ve never heard another race define what is white and what is black like African-Americans.
Lemon: “Just because you can have a baby, it doesn’t mean you should. Especially without planning for one or getting married first. More than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock.”
72 percent of children in the black community being born out of wedlock is an embarrassing statistic. I never wanted to deal with the baby mama drama or be a father that saw my child a once a twice a week. I always said I wanted to plan and have a child the right way because it’s tough raising a child.
My mother gave birth to me at age 16 and I saw how tough things were for her and my grandmother. While my mom went on to college and became an RN, it was never easy. She busted her butt going to school full time while having a part-time job at McDonald’s in college.
You have to have some type of a male figure in a child’s life. Yes I had my grandmother and mom, but I later had my stepfather, who would end up being a great person I felt like I could talk to about advise and life.
Studies show that a majority of black men in prison never had a presence of a father or male figure in their lives. I was blessed to have my grandmother and mom and a stepfather as a teenager because so many of my high school friends ended up in jail or having multiple children out of wedlock.
You may not like what Lemon and O’ Reilly said, but it’s accurate. The black community needs to stop with the sagging, tattoos on their faces and stop believing someone has to talk or act a certain way to fit into their community. No other race tears down their own race like blacks and people and this needs to change. If blacks ever want to evolve, these things have to change.
The above is by @blackresoxfan Antwan Staley and the link is http://blackredsoxfan.com/2013/07/30/my-review-of-don-lemon-and-bill-o-reilly-criticism-of-the-black-community/
The N word. It’s a word that has polarized a lot of people in our world these days. Back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, that word was used by White people to downgrade and insult Black people. Like ESPN writer Jason Whitlock said, “It was more than likely the last word you heard before you were hung.” But over the years, the word has had a momentum switch of sorts to where rappers have given the word a different usage. Now people try to use it as a term of endearment. For example, ESPN columnist Michael Wilbon said that he received a few texts or voicemails before from other Black people that congratulated him using that word. The conversation hit many different points and opened up a dialogue that needed to happen. How do we use the word or do we even use it at all?
Personally, I can say that I have been on both sides of the fence in my thinking before. When I was in high school and in college, that word was definitely more prevalent in my vocabulary. Even though the N word was not something I used all the time, it was something that I did use in speaking to some of my friends when we would talk. At that point in my life, I saw nothing wrong with that word at all. I was desensitized. I saw myself as flipping the word to bring a brand new meaning. And many others had the same view as I did. But as I got older, I began to take things just a little more seriously as it pertained to that word. I had incidents where some white people used that word and other assorted words to address me. Fast forward to now and that word is not allowed to be used or said at all in my household. Over time, I began to understand some of the power that word had beyond what I thought as a kid growing up in this world.
ESPN’s Jemele Hill had some interesting words in this special. She said “In our own groups, people use certain words and it is ok. But outside of our groups, it seems to not be ok.” The theme here is familiarity. The example Jemelle gave was of one when she is with her girlfriends. She said they call each other a B&%$* when they speak to each other and everything is cool. But when a male or someone they don’t know calls them that, they have crossed the line. In that essence, she has spelled out what a big issue is in the usage of the N word. Some pockets of the Black community feel that it is ok to call someone the N word because he/she looks like we do. But in the same breath, we get upset when someone not like us (non-Black people) use the word. Here lies the confusion in the usage of the word.
The real truth is the word will forever have negative connotations no matter how it is flipped. The word keeps getting spit out over and over on rap songs and in movies, yet Black people get upset over it when someone else says it. Honestly, there is something wrong with that type of thinking. And I am not excluding myself in it. Many times we as Black people listen to songs that celebrate that word while in the next breath we are jumping on someone for saying the same word and not being Black. In all honestly, it is a battle within. A battle within Black culture as to what we want to do. Some want to rid ourselves of it while others want to change the connotation of it. And like two ships in the night, one will continue to pass by the other while we continue to have this battle over and over again. Some will get the points that were said, some will take them over the top, while others will completely not understand the dialogue that was produced. The word has been de-sensitized. And due to that, mass-confusion has become of it to the detriment or growth of our communities, depending on who you ask.
If you have not had a chance to watch the Outside The Lines special on The N Word, you truly need to watch and see what happened.
For more conversations on sports and other things, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP.
the above was written by Mike Patton @General_MP the link is here http://patton26.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/mass-confusion-of-the-n-word/
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? Andrew Vigliotti responded I feel like the use of the “N” word is used too much as a term of endearment in society. I find it troubling that African Americans use the word with the (a) at the end in positive dialogue. If I’m around an African American and I hear the term used, I feel very uneasy. Not necessarily because they are going to be upset, as it’s deemed acceptable by the black community, but because I know the real meaning of it and it’s wrong.
I think the black society now-a-days forgets about the civil rights movement, and what that meant for them as a community. To think they were treated unfairly and degraded with white men and women using the term with the (er) ending at the end of it back then haunts me.
I feel like the voices of the black community: Jessie Jackson, Don King and even in the sports world like Stephen A. Smith, need to express more publicly the Hippocratic tendencies that African Americans use in every day life. For instance, when I always attended schools I would hear a group of black people use the term and it’s deemed acceptable. However, if a white person, or any other race for that matter, came up and expressed the word in the (a) or (er) form, they would get harassed and even assaulted, if not worse.
In the words of Ken Carter in my favorite movie Coach Carter. “Your using it teaches him to use it.”
So the black community has to look at themselves in the mirror and think: Why do I want to use this word towards others in my race, when I know if a member of another race were to say it back, I’d be ready to fight? Do you see white people calling each other “crackers?”
I believe people need to stop backing down from this discussion and look at the situation at hand. The hypocrisy needs to stop. And it starts with the African American community.
you can find Andrew on twitter @Andrew_Vig or for his work with outsidepitchmlb.com
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word?
Amen Seu Ra replied “Very difficult to put into context. It is believed the word derived from a African Goddess named, “The Naga Goddess”. The N-word was used in ancient chanting ceremonies to invoke the kundalini energy (the ancient Greeks referred to her as Medusa).
Through the slavery period the N-word became a mocking, demeaning term first used by the Portuguese. A scared word or term that once had profoundly intrinsic connotation, was now the epitome moral deprivation.
In today’s entertainment sub-culture, the word is freely used amongst many nationalities as a term of endearment, when greeting or referencing a grouping of people.
With all being said, it all depends on how it is used and if its accepted being used in the particular culture and environment.
You can find Amen Seu Ra on twitter @Amenseura
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? Turron Davenport replies “
I honestly feel that trying to police the use of the N word is excessive censorship. As Metta World Peace said, the word is a part of urban lingo. I don’t agree with it but it’s a common way that many guys refer to each other. The first step would be to as Herm Edwards put it “Take care of it at home.” What he meant by that was to have the teams implement removing the word from the locker room. Some compare the field to the office place and that is not wise because there is so much emotion that is put out on the field. The game is an emotional game and things get said that aren’t always the most family friendly. Unfortunately, that’s part of the game. These are elite athletes that have a tremendous competitive gene that many can’t begin to fathom. There is so much adrenaline flowing that there is no time to really think before some of the comments at times. It’s just how things work.”
Turron was relating this to the NFL seeing there is a lot of talk about there being penalties being enforced for using the “N” word on the field. He also got comments from players at the NFL combine that he shared concerning this very topic. Below are the responses he sent me.
Lamarcus Joyner “I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I am Jesus Christ but I don’t use that kind of language. Honestly, I don’ t talk much on the field. I can tell you that you will here some things said on the field that aren’t even said on the streets. If the commissioner says that it bad for the game, then it’s bad for the game.”
Marqueston Huff Wyoming Safety/CB: It’s football. Competitive guys out there. Some words will be said. It’s not a word that you want to say but it’s no way possible that you are going to eliminate that word from the whole entire game. It’s a game of emotion. You go out there and say some things that you might regret later but at that time you are not thinking about that. You hear it on the field but a lot of times it’s not used as a racial term. It’s a way that some guys just speak
Chris Davis was grilled by a Seattle reporter regarding his use of the word and he said that he can’t comment on that. The reporter asked him if he uses the word and Davis again declined to comment. The reporter responded saying that his declining to comment means that he uses the word. Davis replied that he didn’t say that and refused to touch the topic.
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? Lamont Broadus replied “Nigga is just a word. Anytime we give any word credence, we give it power. A white man can call me a nigga, it doesn’t move me.”
ME: Is the n word part of your vocabulary in every day life?
Lamont: “No but I’ve used it before in the past as I matured I used it less. Most see it as a term of endearment but I don’t.”
ME: Why do some see this as a term of endearment?
Lamont: “Culture raised that way I guess”
Lamont can be found on twitter @TheSportologist and route4sports.com
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? Gee Steelio replied ”While understanding the horrible history that comes with the “N-Word” – right now it had become a word of two different meanings separated by generations. I use it amongst friends because that’s a word that has become part of my vernacular due to friends / environment I grew up in. Bottom line, like it or not , people have the right to say whatever, whenever they want though… I guess u can take bits and pieces from that. It was lengthy lol. I’ve been using that word for most of my life man. The NFL is f#@(in retarded”
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? Joe Wedra responded “I think it’s an unfortunate word that people throw around a bit too much. Personally, I find it interesting that there are two totally different sides to the “n-word” argument. Some find it to be normal because they grew up with it, others find it extremely offensive. Either way, it’s probably best to leave it out of our vocabulary.”
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? Robyn Vandenberg replied “ I realize it’s used amongst the black community however I never understood why. I am a white woman and I don’t call my friends who are white “honky” . I do However don’t have a problem pointing out racist remarks when I hear them. Luckily I don’t.”
In response to my question What is your opinion on the “N” word? A friend whom asked to not be named said “it
shouldn’t be used in any part of life, never mind sports, that’s all I am saying about it.”
I have shown what others have said about this, so what do I Think about the N word you ask. Over the years I would say that I really didn’t hear the word until I left home. I have never understood why any would use this type of language. I don’t understand how if one culture can use a hateful and say that they have “embraced it”, yet if someone outside of that culture uses it, it is a reason to go (fight). You are instantly a racist, insensitive, hateful, and many other things. Some would go as far as wanting to kill you,whilst using that same word to a friend as a term of endearment. This is plain and simply an oxymoron. The words origins to me imply slavery and the n word being interchanged with the word SLAVE. I don’t think you would ever hear any in this day and age saying things like. “How is it going, my Slave.” I don’t believe the word should ever be used by anyone, not for any reason. I have a friend that says “context is everything” (referring to the Bible), this word is an exception to that. The word is rubbish, if it were translated from the Greek, it means shit.